Many people believe the U.S. is the world's biggest marketplace, but in fact Europe is the world's biggest marketplace. Southern Europe, including industrial giants Spain and Italy are struggling mightily as their economies grow more dire.
Unemployment that tops 1/4 of the work force is common as are 1/2 the youth unemployed. What sort of future, or hope, or self-image do these young people have, as they are confronted by a financial crises they didn't cause but of which they bear the brunt?
Already, we see mass protests that sometimes shut these countries down. And we see riots, riots led by angry and deeply frustrated youths who seemingly have no voice in their governments and no way to stop the financial pain that only grows worse.
Were the world wiser, it would restructure global finances to lift the enormous burden many of these nation can no longer afford, much as was done for giant banks in recent years. It certainly would not burden nations that cannot afford their current debt with more debt, combined with austerity programs.
As an optimist, I hope the global financial community finds the courage to take this action rather than risk not only a financial collapse, but the political collapse that would likely come with it.